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Reaction Types

Now that you are familiar with atoms and molecules and how they make up the solids, liquids, and gases we see around us, lets discuss what happens when two molecules meet: namely, chemical reactions. A chemical reaction is defined as a process by which one or more substances are changed into one or more new substances. Chemical reactions are usually portrayed in this way:
reactant product

The is read as yields or produces. You will often see the states of matter in parentheses as subscripts after the chemical formulas of the reactants and products. The symbols for the states of matter and some other chemical reaction symbols you should be familiar with are given in the table below.
Symbol + (g) (l) (s) ( aq ) number subscript number coefficient Meaning Yields or produces Reacts with or and Gaseous state Liquid state Solid state Aqueous state (dissolved in water) Represents the number of atoms of the element its to the right of How many molecules or moles of the substance are reacting A substance named above the arrow represents a catalyst in the reaction A gas is produced A precipitate is formed kJ or J Energy term (kilojoules or joules) Reversible equation; equilibrium A delta above the reaction arrow indicates that heat is added to the reaction

Balancing Chemical Equations

You may remember that the law of conservation of mass says that matter is neither created nor destroyed during a chemical reaction. This means that all chemical reactions must be balancedthe number of atoms, moles, and ultimately the total mass must be conserved during a chemical process. Here are the rules to follow when balancing equations: Determine the correct formulas for all the reactants and products in the reaction. Begin balancing with the most complicated-looking group. A polyatomic ion that appears unchanged on both sides of the equation can be counted as a single unit. Save the elemental (single elements) reactant and products for last, especially if it is hydrogen or oxygen. Keep your eye out for diatomic molecules such as oxygen, hydrogen, and the halogens. If you get stuck, double the most complicated-looking group and try again. Finally, make sure that all coefficients are in the lowest-possible ratio. Know when to quit! None of the reactions you will encounter will be that difficult. If the coefficients are getting wild, doublecheck what youve done since you may have a simple mistake. When balancing reactions, keep your hands off the subscripts! Use only coefficients to balance chemical equations. Now lets try an example. When you solve it yourself, make sure to follow the steps!

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.


Write the balanced equation for the reaction between chlorine and sodium bromide, which produces bromine and sodium chloride.


First write the chemical formulasbe on the lookout for the diatomic elements (such as Cl2):
Cl 2 + NaBr Br 2 + NaCl

Next, find the reagent with the scariest subscripts. In this case, start with Cl2. You need a coefficient of 2 in front of NaCl, which then requires a coefficient of 2 in front of NaBr. The balanced equation becomes
Cl 2 + 2NaBr Br 2 + 2NaCl

Finally, count up everything to make sure you balanced the equation correctly. You have two chlorine atoms, two sodium atoms, and two bromines on the reactants side and two bromines, two sodiums, and two chlorines on the products side. Youre done.


Write the balanced equation for the reaction between aluminum sulfate and calcium chloride, which produces aluminum chloride and calcium sulfate.


Write the chemical formulas on their correct sides:

Al 2 (SO 4 ) 3 + CaCl 2 AlCl 3 + CaSO 4

In this reaction, the aluminum sulfate looks the most complicated, so start there. Look at what happens with sulfatesince it remains sulfate on the right side of the reaction, treat it as a unit. You have three on the left side and only one on the right side, so place a coefficient of 3 in front of calcium sulfate. Now deal with the aluminum. You have three on the left and one on the right, so place a coefficient of 2 in front of aluminum chloride. Last, you must place a coefficient of 3 in front of calcium chloride.
Al 2 (SO 4 ) 3 + 3CaCl 2 2AlCl 3 + 3CaSO 4

Count the atoms on both sides of the reaction and youll see that youre done.

Types of Chemical Reactions

It is important that you know the basic types of chemical reactions for the SAT II Chemistry test since the test often refers to reactions as being of one type or another. Heres a list of the different types of reactions, with examples of each type included. Synthesis reaction: This is a reaction in which two or more elements or compounds combine to form a single product. This type of reaction follows the general equation

where A and B may be either elements or compounds. Here are some examples:
2Na ( s) + Cl 2( g) MgO ( s) + H 2 O ( l) SO 2( g) + H 2 O ( l) 2NaCl ( s) Mg(OH) 2( aq) H 2 SO 3( aq)

Decomposition reaction: In this type of reaction, a single reactant, a compound, breaks into two or more parts. Often these are the most difficult to predict. Here is the general equation:

where A and B may be either elements or compounds. Here are some examples of decomposition reactions:
2H 2 O ( l) H 2 CO 3( aq) CaCO 3( s) 2KClO 3( s) 2H 2( g) + O 2( g) H 2 O ( l) + CO 2( g) CaO ( s) + CO 2( g) 2KCl ( s) + 3O 2( g)

Single replacement or displacement reaction: In this type of reaction, a more active element replaces a less active element in a compound. Among the halogens, F2 is the most active halogen, and the activity of the halogens decreases as you go down the group. For the metals, you will need to be given an activity series. General equation:
A + BC AC + B

where A is a metal.

Here is an example of a displacement reaction in which a metal is involved:

Cu ( s) + 2AgNO 3( aq) 2Ag ( s) + Cu(NO 3 ) 2( aq) BA + C

General equation:
A + BC

where A is a nonmetal. Here is an example of a displacement reaction where a nonmetal is involved:

Cl 2( g) + 2NaI ( aq) 2NaCl ( aq) + I 2( s)

Double replacement or displacement reaction: In this type of reaction, two compounds react to form two new compounds. The formation of a molecular compound such as water, the formation of a gas, or the formation of a precipitate usually drives these reactions. Heres the general equation:
AB + CD AD + CB 2KNO 3( aq) + PbI 2( s) H 2 O ( l) + NaCl ( aq)

And here are a couple of examples:

Pb(NO 3 ) 2( aq) + 2KI ( aq) HCl ( aq) + NaOH ( aq)

Combustion reaction: In this type of reaction, often a hydrocarbon is burned in the presence of oxygen gas to form carbon dioxide (in a complete combustion) or carbon monoxide (in an incomplete combustion, due to a limited amount of oxygen). Here is the general equation in the presence of plenty of oxygen:
C x H y + O 2( g) CH 4( g) + 2O 2( g) CO 2( g) + H 2 O ( l)
or ( g)

An example of this is seen when methane gas is burned in the presence of excess oxygen (Bunsen burner reaction):
CO 2( g) + 2H 2 O ( g)

Here is the general equation for when a hydrocarbon is burned in an incomplete combustion (oxygen is in limited supply):
C x H y + O 2( g) CO ( g) + H 2 O ( l)

Hydrolysis reaction: A reaction that involves water. Here is the general equation for a hydrolysis reaction:

Net Ionic Equations

Net ionic equations are equations that show only the soluble, strong electrolytes reacting (these are represented as ions) and omit the spectator ions, which go through the reaction unchanged. When you encounter net ionic equations on the SAT II Chemistry test, youll need to remember the following solubility rules, so memorize them! Also keep in mind that net ionic equations, which are the bare bones of the chemical reaction, usually take place in aqueous environments. Here are those solubility rules: 1. Most alkali metal compounds and

compounds are soluble.

2. Cl , Br , I compounds are soluble, except when they contain Ag+, , or Pb2+. 3. F compounds are soluble, except when they contain group 2A metals. 4. 5. , , , and CH3COO- compounds are soluble. .

compounds are soluble, except when they include Ca2+, Sr2+, Ba2+, Ag+, Pb2+, or

6. , , , , S , OH , and O compounds are insoluble. 7. Group 2A metal oxides are classified as strong bases even though they are not very soluble. The two solubility rules that you will use the most are numbers 1 and 4. You must memorize that all group 1A metal and ammonium compounds are soluble. As soon as you see a compound , Li, Na, K, Rb, Cs, or Fr, you should know that its soluble. Also, all nitrates are solublelook at the end of the compound. If it ends in , you know that its soluble. Whats the big deal with solubility? Well, if the ion is soluble, it wont form a precipitate, and this means it doesnt react and should be left out of the net ionic equation. The key is first to write the compounds chemical formula and then determine if its soluble. If it is soluble, then ionize itif it isnt, dont ionize it; leave it as a molecule.

Here are some additional rules about common reaction types that you should be familiar with for the exam: If an insoluble precipitate or gas can be formed in a reaction, it probably will be. Oxides (except group 1A) are insoluble, and when reacted with water, they form either acids (nonmetal oxides) or bases (metal oxides). There are six strong acids that completely ionize: HCl, HBr, HI, HNO3, H2SO4, HClO4. All other acids are weak and are written together, as molecules. The strong bases that ionize are oxides and hydroxides of group 1A and 2A metals. All other oxides and hydroxides are considered weak and written together, as molecules. Now try writing some net ionic equations, using the rules above.


Write the net ionic equation for a mixture of solutions of silver nitrate and lithium bromide.


Ag + +

+ Li + + Br -

This is a double replacement reaction. Both compounds are soluble, so everything ionizes. If anything is formed, it will come from recombining the inside two ions with the outside two ions to make LiNO3 and AgBr. If either of them is insoluble, a precipitate will be formed, and the ions that react to form it will be in our net ionic equation; the other ions are spectators and should be omitted! As we said, the two possible products are lithium nitrate and silver bromide. Since halides are solubleexcept those containing silver, mercury, or lead, we have a precipitate of silver bromide, and our net ionic equation looks like this:
Ag + + Br AgBr

Hydrochloric acid and sodium hydroxide are mixed. Write the net ionic equation.


This is a mixture of a strong acid and a strong base, so each ionizes completely.
H + + Cl - + Na + + OH -

The two possible compounds formed are sodium chloride, which is soluble, and water, which is molecular; thus water is the only product in our net ionic equation.
H + + OH -

Example Explanation


Chlorine gas is bubbled into a solution of potassium iodide; write the net ionic equation. This one is a single replacement, so you need to consider the activity series. Since halogens are involved, you can determine their activity by using the periodic table: Cl is more active than I.
Cl 2 + K + + I -

Remember that halogen is diatomic and that all potassium compounds are soluble. The resulting compound is also soluble, so K+ is a spectator and is left out of the final equation.
Cl 2 + I I 2 + Cl -

The Chemistry of Acids and Bases

Acid-Base Theories
Lets start our discussion of acids and bases by defining some terms that are essential to the topics that follow. Arrhenius acids and bases are: acida substance that increases the concentration of protons (H+) in water basea substance that increases the concentration of hydroxide ions in water (OH-) These definitions are limited to aqueous solutions. Brnsted and Lowry acids and bases as: acida substance that donates a proton to another substance basea substance that accepts a proton These definitions can also apply to reactions that are not aqueous, so they are more accurate.

Lewis acids and bases are: acida substance that accepts an electron pair basea substance that donates an electron pair Here are some other terms that youll need to be familiar with: hydronium (H3O+)H+ riding piggyback on a water molecule; water is polar, and the positive charge of the naked proton is greatly attracted to one of the negative electron pairs on adjacent oxygen monoproticdescribes acids that can donate one H+ diproticdescribes acids that can donate two H+ ions polyproticdescribes acids that can donate more than one H+ ion amphiproticdescribes a substance that can act as either an acid or a base. This means it can either lose a proton or gain one. Water is amphiprotic: it can form either a hydroxide ion or a hydronium ion. Other examples of amphiprotic substances are , ,

Conjugate Acid-Base Pairs

Now that weve defined acids and bases, lets discuss how they work together in reactions. Look at the generic acid base reaction below:
HX ( aq) + H 2 O ( l) X - ( aq) + H 3 O (aq)

When the forward reaction occurs, HX donates a proton to water (so it acts as the base) to form hydronium. When the reverse reaction occurs, the hydronium ion acts as the acid, donating a proton to the X-. Together, HX and X- are said to be conjugate acid-base pairs. Conjugate acid-base pairs are compounds that differ by the presence of one proton, or H+. All acids have a conjugate base, which is formed when their proton has been donated; likewise, all bases have a conjugate acid, formed after they have accepted a proton.


Apply the appropriate acid-base theory to first identify the acid and base reacting and then identify the conjugate acid-base pairs in the examples below: 1. 2.

in the forward reaction, and water acts as the base. HNO3s conjugate base is , and waters conjugate acid is the

1. In this first reaction, we see that HNO3 gives a proton to water, which then forms a hydronium ion. This makes HNO3 the acid

hydronium ion, or 2. Here donates the proton to water, so in the forward reaction it acts as the acid, and water is still the base. conjugate base is NH3, and waters conjugate acid is again the hydronium ion, H3O+. s

Relative Strengths of Acids and Bases

Certain acids are stronger than other acids, and some bases are stronger than others. What this means is that some acids are better at donating a proton, and some bases are better proton acceptors. A strong acid or base dissociates or ionizes completely in aqueous solution. A weak acid or base does not completely ionize.

Strong Acids

There are six strong acids that youll need to memorize for the SAT II Chemistry test: Hydrohalic acids: HCl, HBr, HI Nitric acid: HNO3 Sulfuric acid: H2SO4

Perchloric acid: HClO4 Lets take a closer look at how acids differ in strength by focusing on perchloric acid. In general, the greater the number of oxygen atoms in a polyatomic ion, the stronger the acid.

So HClO4 is stronger than HClO3, which is stronger than HClO2, which is stronger than HClO. (Perchloric acid is the strongest among the six, but all the other oxyacids of chlorine are not considered strong acids.) Now think about why, as you take away oxygens, the strength of the acid decreases. The hydrogen (proton) to be removed is bonded to an oxygen atom. The oxygens are highly electronegative and are pulling the bonded pair of electrons away from the site where the hydrogen is bonded, thus making it easier to remove the H+. As the number of oxygen decreases, the molecule becomes less polar, and the H+ is harder to remove.

Strong Bases
There are fewer strong bases to memorize for the exam. These are hydroxides (OH), oxides of 1A and 2A metals (except Mg and Be), H-, and . Remember that the stronger the acid, the weaker its conjugate base, and the converse is also true. The figure below illustrates the relative strengths of some common conjugate acid-base pairs.

The pH Scale
As you know, water can act as either a proton donor (in the form of the hydronium ion, H3O+) or a proton acceptor (as OH-). In solution, a water molecule can even donate a proton to or accept a proton from another water molecule, and this process is called autoionization:

2H 2 O

H 3 O + + OH -

Since this reaction takes place in equilibrium, we can write an equilibrium expression, Keq, for it:
K eq = [H 3 O + ][OH - ]

And since this expression refers specifically to the ionization of water, we can write the equilibrium expression as Kw. At 25C, the value of Kw, which is known as theion-product constant, is 1 10-14. This means that the [H3O+] = [OH-] and each is equal to 1 10-7. When the concentrations of H+ and OH- are equal in a solution, the solution is said to be neutral. In acidic solutions, the concentration of H+ is higher than that of OH-, and in basic solutions, the concentration of OH- is greater than that of H+. The pH of a solution is calculated as the negative logarithm in base 10 of the hydronium ion concentrationit is an expression of the molar concentration of H+ions in solution:
pH = -log [H + ] or -log [H 3 O + ]

A solution like the equilibrium expression for water, which is neutral at standard temperature, would have a pH of
pH = -log [1 10 - 7 ] = -(-7.00) = 7.00

So as you can see, neutral solutions have a pH of 7. If the solution contains more hydronium ions than this neutral solution ([H+] > 1 10-7), the pH will be less than 7.00, and the solution will be acidic; if the solution contains more hydroxide ions than this neutral solution ([OH-] > 1 10-7), the pH will be greater than 7.00, and the solution will be basic. Similarly, the pOH of a solution is calculated as the negative logarithm in base 10 of the hydroxide ion concentration:
pOH = -log [OH - ]

and pH and pOH are related to each other by the equation

pH + pOH = 14

Since you wont be allowed to have a calculator for the SAT II Chemistry test, you can use the following equation if you need to calculate the hydronium ion concentration of a solution:
[H 3 O + ] = 10 - p H

Now try a problem: What is the pH of a solution at 25C in which [OH-] = 1.0



The fact that this solution is at 25C tells us that we should use the Kw relationships. If the [OH-] = 1.0 10-5 M, then pOH = 5. You know that 1.0 10-5 is the same as plain old 10-5. The log of 10-5 is -5 (simply use the exponent when a number, any number, is written as 10power, so the negative of the log is equal to -(-5), or simply 5. Now, if the pOH is 5, then the pH is 9 since pH + pOH = 14.

AcidBase Reactions: Neutralization Reactions

When a strong acid and a strong base solution are mixed, a neutralization reaction occurs, and the products do not have characteristics of either acids or bases. Instead, a neutral salt and water are formed. Look at the reaction below: The anion from the acid (Cl) reacts with the cation from the base (Na+) to give a salt, and a salt is defined as any compound formed whose anion came from an acid and whose cation came from a base. When a strong acid and a weak base are mixed, the resulting salt will be acidic; likewise, if a strong base and a weak acid are mixed, the resulting salt will be basic. If on the SAT II Chemistry test you are asked to determine if a salt formed in a particular reaction is neutral, acidic, or basic, first ask yourself, Which acid reacted with which base to form this salt? Next ask yourself, Was the acid strong or weak?and then, Was the base strong or weak? Consider K2CO3. K2CO3 is formed when the base, potassium hydroxide (which is strong since potassium is a 1A metal), reacts with the acid, H2CO3 (which is weak since it isnt one of our six strong acids). Since this is a combination of a strong base and a weak acid, the salt formed will be basic. The good news is that for the SAT II Chemistry exam, you neednt worry about weak-weak combinations. Now try some problems on your own.
HCl ( aq) + NaOH ( aq) H 2 O ( l) + NaCl ( aq)


Classify each of the salts listed below as acidic, basic, or neutral. 1. Fe(NO3)3 2. MgSO4 3. Ni(ClO4)2


1. Fe(NO3)3This salt was formed from the reaction of a weak base, iron (III) hydroxide, with a strong acid, nitric acid. This means that the salt will be acidic. 2. MgSO4This salt was formed from the reaction of a strong base, magnesium hydroxide, with strong acid, sulfuric acid. This reaction results in a neutral salt. 3. Ni(ClO4)2This salt was formed from the reaction of a weak base, nickel (II) hydroxide, with a strong acid, perchloric acid. This is an acidic salt.

Redox and Electrochemistry

Oxidation-reduction (redox) reactions are another important type of reaction that you will see questions about on the SAT II Chemistry test. The test writers will expect you to be able to identify elements that are oxidized and reduced, know their oxidation numbers, identify half-cells, and balance redox reactions. The following is a brief overview of the basics.


Oxidation-reduction reactions involve the transfer of electrons between substances. They take place simultaneously, which makes sense because if one substance loses electrons, another must gain them. Many of the reactions weve encountered thus far fall into this category. For example, all single-replacement reactions are redox reactions. Before we go on, lets review some important terms youll need to be familiar with. Electrochemistry: The study of the interchange of chemical and electrical energy. Oxidation: The loss of electrons. Since electrons are negative, this will appear as an increase in the charge (e.g., Zn loses two electrons; its charge goes from 0 to +2). Metals are oxidized. Oxidizing agent (OA): The species that is reduced and thus causes oxidation.

Reduction: The gain of electrons. When an element gains electrons, the charge on the element appears to decrease, so we say it has a reduction of charge (e.g., Cl gains one electron and goes from an oxidation number of 0 to -1). Nonmetals are reduced. Reducing agent (RA): The species that is oxidized and thus causes reduction. Oxidation number: The assigned charge on an atom. Youve been using these numbers to balance formulas. Half-reaction: An equation that shows either oxidation or reduction alone.

Rules for Assigning Oxidation States

1. 2. 3. 4.

A reaction is considered a redox reaction if the oxidation numbers of the elements in the reaction change in the course of the reaction. We can determine which elements undergo a change in oxidation state by keeping track of the oxidation numbers as the reaction progresses. You can use the following rules to assign oxidation states to the components of oxidation-reduction reactions: The oxidation state of an element is zero, including all elemental forms of the elements (e.g., N2, P4, S8, O3). The oxidation state of a monatomic ion is the same as its charge. In compounds, fluorine is always assigned an oxidation state of -1. Oxygen is usually assigned an oxidation state of -2 in its covalent compounds. Exceptions to this rule include peroxides

(compounds containing the group), where each oxygen is assigned an oxidation state of -1, as in hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). 5. Hydrogen is assigned an oxidation state of +1. Metal hydrides are an exception: in metal hydrides, H has an oxidation state of 1. 6. The sum of the oxidation states must be zero for an electrically neutral compound. 7. For a polyatomic ion, the sum of the oxidation states must equal the charge of the ion. Now try applying these rules to a problem.


Assign oxidation numbers to each element in the following: 1. H2S 2. MgF2 3.


1. The sum of the oxidation numbers in this compound must be zero since the compound has no net charge. H has an oxidation state of +1, and since there are two H atoms, +1 times 2 atoms = +2 total charge on H. The sulfur S must have a charge of -2 since there is only one atom of sulfur, and +2 - 2 = 0, which equals no charge. 2. F is assigned an oxidation state of -1 (according to rule 3), and there are two atoms of F, so this gives F a total charge of -2. Mg must have a +2 oxidation state since +2 - 2 = 0 and the compound is electrically neutral. 3. This time the net charge is equal to -3 (the charge of the polyatomic ionaccording to rule 7). Oxygen is assigned a -2 oxidation state (rule 4). Multiply the oxidation number by its subscript: -2 4 = -8. Since there is only 1 phosphorus, just use those algebra skills: P + -8 = -3. Phosphorus must have a +5 charge.

When powdered zinc metal is mixed with iodine crystals and a drop of water is added, the resulting reaction produces a great deal of energy. The mixture bursts into flames, and a purple smoke made up of I2 vapor is produced from the excess iodine. The equation for the reaction is
Zn ( s) + I 2( s) ZnI 2( s) + energy

Identify the elements that are oxidized and reduced, and determine the oxidizing and reducing agents.


1. Assign oxidation numbers to each species. Zn and I2 are both assigned values of 0 (rule 1). For zinc iodide, I has an oxidation number of -1 (group 7Amost common charge), which means that for zinc, the oxidation number is +2. 2. Evaluate the changes that are taking place. Zn goes from 0 to +2 (electrons are lost and Zn is oxidized). The half-reaction would look like this:
Zn 0 Zn 2 + + 2e -

And I2 goes from 0 to -1 (it gains electrons and so is reduced). This half-reaction would look like this: 1. Here, zinc metal is the reducing agentit causes the reduction to take place by donating electronswhile iodine solid is the oxidizing agent; iodine solid accepts electrons.

Voltaic (or Galvanic) Cells

Redox reactions release energy, and this energy can be used to do work if the reactions take place in a voltaic cell. In a voltaic cell (sometimes called a galvanic cell), the transfer of electrons occurs through an external pathway instead of directly between the two elements. The figure below shows a typical voltaic cell (this one contains the redox reaction between zinc and copper):

As you can see, the anode is the electrode at which oxidation occurs; you can remember this if you remember the phrase an oxoxidation occurs at the anode. Reduction takes place at the cathode, and you can remember this with the phrase red catreduction occurs at the cathode. An important component of the voltaic cell is the salt bridge, which is a device used to maintain electrical neutrality; it may be filled with agar, which contains a neutral salt, or be replaced with a porous cup. Remember that electron flow always occurs from anode to cathode, through the wire that connects the two half-cells, and a voltmeter is used to measure the cell potential in volts. Batteries are cells that are connected in series; the potentials add to give a total voltage. One common example is the lead storage battery (car battery), which has a Pb anode, a PbO2 cathode, and H2SO4 electrolyte is their salt bridge.

Standard Reduction Potentials

The potential of a voltaic cell as a whole will depend on the half-cells that are involved. Each half-cell has a known potential, called its standard reduction potential(E). The cell potential is a measure of the difference between the two electrode potentials, and the potential at each electrode is calculated as the potential forreduction at the electrode. Thats why theyre standard reduction potentials, not standard oxidation potentials. Here is the chart:

On this reduction potential chart, the elements that have the most positive reduction potentials are easily reduced and would be good oxidizing agents (in general, the nonmetals), while the elements that have the least positive reduction potentials are easily oxidized and would be good reducing agents (in general, metals). Lets try a quick problem.


Which of the following elements would be most easily oxidized: Ca, Cu, Fe, Li, or Au?


Use the reduction potential chart: nonmetals are at the top and are most easily reduced. Metals are at the bottom and are most easily oxidized. Lithium is at the bottom of the chartits the most easily oxidized of all. So the order, from most easily oxidized to least easily oxidized, is Au, Fe, Cu, Ca, Li.


Which one of the following would be the best oxidizing agent: Ba, Na, Cl, F, or Br?


Using the reduction potential chart and the fact that oxidizing agents are the elements that are most easily reduced, we determine fluorine is the best oxidizing agent.

Electrolytic Cells

While voltaic cells harness the energy from redox reactions, electrolytic cells can be used to drive nonspontaneous redox reactions, which are also called electrolysis reactions. Electrolytic cells are used to produce pure forms of an

element; for example, theyre used to separate ores, in electroplating metals (such as applying gold to a less expensive metal), and to charge batteries (such as car batteries). These types of cells rely on a battery or any DC sourcein other words, whereas the voltaic cell is a battery, the electrolytic cell needs a battery. Also unlike voltaic cells, which are made up of two containers, electrolytic cells have just one container. However, like in voltaic cells, in electrolytic cells electrons still flow from the anode to the cathode. An electrolytic cell is shown below.

Practice Questions
1. What is the sum of the coefficients of the following equation when it is balanced? Al 2 (SO 4 ) 3 + Ca(OH) 2 (A) (B) (C) (D) (E) 5 6 7 8 9 Al(OH) 3 + CaSO 4

2. Indium reacts with bromine to form InBr 3 . In the balanced equation for this reaction, the coefficient of the indium (III) bromide is (A) 1 (B) 2 (C) 3 (D) 4 (E) 6 3. When the following equation is balanced, what is the sum of the coefficients? Al 2 (CO 3 ) 3 + Mg(OH) 2 (A) (B) (C) (D) (E) 3 4 8 9 10 Al(OH) 3 + MgCO 3

4. The balanced net ionic equation for the reaction of aluminum sulfate and sodium hydroxide contains which of the following terms? (A) 3Al 3+ ( aq) (B) OH - ( aq) (C) 3OH - ( aq) (D) 2Al 3+ ( aq) (E) 2Al(OH) 3( s)

5. When solutions of phosphoric acid and iron (III) nitrate react, which of the following terms will be present in the balanced molecular equation? (A) HNO 3( aq) (B) 3HNO 3( aq) (C) 2FePO 4( s) (D) 3FePO 4( s) (E) 2HNO 3( aq) Statement I 6. The conjugate base of a weak acid is a strong base. Statement II BECAUSE Elements that are strong Brnsted -Lowry acids are not strong Brnsted-Lowry bases.

7. In solution, which of the following has the greatest [H 3 O + ]? (A) HCN (B) HNO 3 (C) H 2 O (D) OH (E) CH 3 OH 8. Which of the following is not true for a solution at 25C that has a hydroxide concentration of 1.0 (A) Kw = 1 10 - 14 (B) The solution is acidic. (C) The solution is basic. (D) The [H + ] is 1 10 - 8 M. (E) The pOH equals 6.0. 9. Which of the following would produce a basic aqueous solution? (A) SO 2 (B) KCl (C) CO 2 (D) NH 4 Cl (E) Na 2 O 10. Equimolar solutions of which of the following would produce the most acidic solution? (A) H 3 PO 4 (B) HClO (C) HClO 2 (D) HClO 3 (E) HClO 4 11. In which of the following substances would nitrogen have the highest oxidation number? (A) NO (B) N 2 O (C) NO 2 (D) N 2 O 4 (E) Statement I 12. Voltaic cells harness the energy of redox reactions. 13. Electrolytic cells require the input of energy. Statement II BECAUSE In a voltaic cell, electron flow occurs through the salt bridge. BECAUSE Electrolytic cells have just one container, while voltaic cells have two. 10 - 6 M?

14. Which of the following half-cell reactions describes what is happening at the anode in the diagram?

(A) Zn (B) H

Zn 2+ + 2e 2H + + 2e Cl 2 + 2e S + 2O 2 + 6e H2

(C) 2Cl (D) SO 4

(E) 2H + + 2e-

15. Given the following chemical reaction for the formation of lithium oxide, which of the following statements is true? 4Li ( s) + O 2( g) Lithium metal is the oxidizing agent. Oxygen gas is the reducing agent. Lithium is oxidized. Oxygen is oxidized. Oxygen loses two electrons to become a -2 ion. 2Li 2 O ( s)

(A) (B) (C) (D) (E)

1. E This equation has two polyatomic ions. If you recognize that right away, the question is not as difficult. Treat the polyatomic ions as one species. The balanced equation is Al 2 (SO 4 ) 3 + 3Ca(OH) 2 The sum of the coefficients is then 1 + 3 + 2 + 3 = 9. 2. B Here you are basically given the correct chemical formula for the product. The balanced reaction is 2In + 3Br 2 The coefficient of the indium (III) bromide is 2. 3. D The balanced equation is Al 2 (CO 3 ) 3 + 3Mg(OH) 2 The sum of the coefficients is thus 1 + 3 + 2 + 3 = 9. 4. C You must know your solubility rules to get the correct answer. Aluminum sulfate is soluble, as is sodium hydroxide. The ions participating are Al3+, , Na+, and OH-. It is a double displacement, and the key is knowing that sodium sulfate is soluble, while Al
3+ ( aq)

2Al(OH) 3 + 3CaSO 4

2InBr 3

2Al(OH) 3 + 3MgCO 3

aluminum hydroxide is written molecularly since it is a weak base. The balanced net ionic equation is + 3OH - ( aq) Al(OH) 3( s) 5. B This is also a double displacement reaction. The balanced molecular equation is H 3 PO 4 + Fe(NO 3 ) 3 FePO 4 + 3HNO 3


T, T

(Fill in CE.) The first statement is true: the conjugate base of a weak acid is a strong base. Remember that conjugate acid-base pairs are acids and bases that differ only in the presence or absence of a proton. The second statement is also true: a strong Brnsted-Lowry acid will not be a strong Brnsted-Lowry base. It is an explanation for the first statement, so you would fill in the CE oval. 7. B This question asks you to find the compound with the greatest [H 3O+], which means its asking you to find the compound with the lowest pH or determine which one is the most acidic. As you look down the list, you can see only one compound that is on our list of the six strong acids, and thats choice B, HNO3. 8. B 10-14, so A is true. If the hydroxide concentration is equal to 1.0 10-6 M, then the pOH If the temperature is 25C, then Kw = 1.0

= 6, so E is true. (You know that 1.0 10-6 is the same as plain old 10-6. The log of 10-6 is -6. Simply use the exponent when a power number, any number, is written as 10 , so the negative of the log is equal to -(-6) or simply 6.) Therefore the pH is equal to 14 - 6, which equals 8. If the pH = 8, then the solution is basic, so C is true. Furthermore, when the pH = 8, the [H+] = 1.0 Only B is not true. 9. E Recall that aqueous solutions of oxides and hydroxides of 1A and 2A metals form strong bases. Now review what you learned about strong bases: the strong bases are hydroxides (OH), and oxides of 1A and 2A metals (except Mg and Be), H-, and CH3-. 10. E Perchloric acid is the strongest acid in this list. Remember our discussion of how the increased number of oxygens makes the proton more likely to dissociate. Heres that list of strong acids again: the hydrohalic acids (HCl, HBr, HI), nitric acid (HNO 3), sulfuric acid (H2SO4), and perchloric acid (HClO4). 11. E In this problem, it is probably easiest to determine the charge on each nitrogen first. The oxygen in each case is -2. In choice A, NO, the nitrogen has a charge of +2. In choice B, N2O, the charge on nitrogen is +1. In choice C, NO2, and in choice D, N2O4, the nitrogen has a charge of +4. In choice E, 12. T, F , the nitrogen has a charge of +5. 10-8, so D is true.

(Do not fill in CE.) Statement I is a true statement: voltaic cells harness the energy released during redox reactions, and this energy is used to perform work. However, statement II is false. The flow of electrons from anode to cathode takes place through a wire, not the salt bridge. The salt bridge is present in order to retain electrical neutrality in the cells. Since the second statement is not an explanation or reason for the first statement, you would not fill in the CE oval. 13. T, T (Do not fill in CE.) Look at the statements one at a time. The first statement is true electrolytic cells require the input of energy. These cells are used to separate ores, to electroplate, and as car batteries. The second statement is also true: whereas voltaic cells have two containers, one at the anode and one at the cathode, electrolytic cells have just one (although they still have an anode and a cathode). Since the second statement is not an explanation for the first, you would not fill in the CE oval. 14. A The anode and cathode are not labeled in the diagram, so you must first remember that electrons travel from the anode to the cathodeaccording to the arrow showing electron movement in the diagram, this means that the chamber on the left must be the anode. This narrows the answer choices down to A or D since these are the only two ions in the anode half-cell. Now, since oxidation occurs at the anode, the metal will lose electrons, and you can determine that choice A shows the appropriate half-reaction. 15. C The first step to solving a problem like this is to assign charges to each element and then decide exactly whats happening b efore you look at the answer choices. On the reactants side, lithium and oxygen both are assigned charges of zero. In lithium oxide, Li has a +1 charge and O has a -2 charge. Li has been oxidized: it lost 2e- and is the reducing agent. O has been reduced: it gained 2e - and is the oxidizing agent. The only statement that matches is choice C.